The heat wave that has struck Uttar Pradesh has affected watermelon growers, as the crop yield has fallen and the weight of fruit is also less. Farmers from Prayagraj, Kaushambi and Fatehpur districts, who grow famous watermelon varieties Saraswati, Arohi, and Muskan, are now finding it difficult to sell their produce in other districts and states.
Normally, the weight of a single watermelon is around 3kg or more, but this time due to intense heat it reduced to around 1.5kg only, said one farmer. As a result, growers are selling melons in the city and adjoining districts only. An article on timesofindia.indiatimes.com states that agriculture experts added that high temperatures have hit the tomato and pointed gourd crops also.
Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region affected as well
Growers in the Vidarbha region are also despairing about the ongoing heatwave. Their produce is spoiling on the trees and falling to the ground in heaps. The temperature, that has been consistently touching 44 degrees Celsius, has not been good for their oranges. Coupled with the fungal infection – fruitlet blight – the oranges are dropping off the trees.
Malode’s orange and sweet limes orchards are located in the Mowad village, a red zone of the heatwave. With four heatwaves hitting the Vidarbha belt since mid-March this year, orange-growers like Malode are clueless about protecting the crop from the heatwave.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com